2020 MacBook Air boasts faster, smaller Intel chips specially created for Apple

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2020 MacBook Air
The 2020 MacBook Air doesn’t use standard Intel processors. And that’s a good thing.
Photo: Apple

The 10th-generation Intel processors at the heart of the 2020 MacBook Air launched last week are one of its major enhancements. But these reportedly aren’t standard chips. Some have higher clock speeds, and all have other improvements.

The 2020 MacBook Air can be configured with either an Intel Core i3-1000NG4, Intel Core i5-1030NG7 or an Intel Core i7-1060NG7, reports Lilliputing. These processor are part of the Ice Lake family that Intel unveiled last year, but none of these specific chips were announced at that time.

2020 MacBook Air processors are faster than the standard ones

The specifications for the processors in the new MacBook Air and the standard ones can be found on Intel’s website, revealing the exact differences.

Each of the four processor cores in the standard Core i7-1060G7 chip unveiled previously has a clock speed of 1.0 GHz. The Core i7-1060NG7 in the latest MacBook Air uses four 1.2 GHz cores.

The situation is similar with the Core i5 version. The standard i5-1030G7 chip includes four 800 MHz cores, while the i5-1030NG7 in the 2020 MacBook Air has four 1.1 GHz cores.

But the i3 version is different. Both the i3-1000NG4 in the new Mac and the standard i3-1000G4 have two cores each with a clock speed of 1.1 GHz.

All the chips in new MacBook Air have a smaller package size than the standard one for this processors family: 22 mm by 16.5 mm as compared to 26.5 mm by 18.5 mm. However, the Apple variants do not include support for Intel Optane Memory, Intel Trusted Execution, or configurable Thermal Design Power.

It’s not clear if there are any computers out now using the standard versions of these chips to do a speed comparison with 2020 MacBook Air. But benchmarks show that making the move to one of these 10th-generation Intel processors in the latest macOS laptop brought a 73% increase in speed over the 8th-generation chip in the 2016 MacBook Air.